Shall We Dance?: Photog Captures Beauty of Passion

New York City is one lively place. What better way to capture it than in the form of dance?

Photographer Jordan Matter took still frames of dancers from the Paul Taylor and Martha Graham Dance Companies performing interesting moves all around New York City.

The photos are part of "Dancers Among Us," a continuous portfolio that Matter started in the spring of 2009.

He told us he was inspired after seeing a Paul Taylor company show last year and thought about "how much commitment it would take to be that exceptional at something."

"What I started wanting to do is figure out a way to photograph that commitment," Matter told

"In the photographs they (the dancers) are away from the stage, yet they cannot leave dance behind. As they go about their daily routines, they do so as dancers," said Matter on his official website.

"It's a stylized way of saying, they're always dancing, even if they're just picking up the groceries or crossing the street," he told us.

One picture shows dancer Parisa Khobdeh sporting a Derek Jeter jersey and a backwards Yankees cap, posing with her arms stretched and knees bent in the stands at Yankees Stadium.

Straphangers are not even phased by the moves of dancer Jeffery Smith clad in a business suit looking like he's in pursuit of an arriving train in the Times Square 42nd St. subway station while performing a split in mid-air.

Another depicts an elderly man too busy reading his book to notice dancer Michelle Fleet stretching her body from a bookshelf to a desktop book-reading podium at the New York Public Library.

Commuters at Grand Central Station go about their travels as dancer Francisco Graciano reads a pamphlet sitting in mid-air and one arm stretched back.

Matter said the pictures were taken on the sly and on the fly.

"There were no permits or anything -- I spent seven years photographing women with no shirts on, so I've kind of gotten used to a 'guerrilla' type of shoot," he said, referring to his previous work snapping shots of topless women around the city in public places. "We set it up, and shoot it quickly."

Although he wasn't necessarily breaking any laws, Matter said he was asked to leave from certain places like the public library, Grand Central and Yankee stadium -- but he still got his shots.

"The main point is, I wanted it to be a fun and humorous way to look at a pretty important topic," he said.

The "Dancers Among Us" series -- which isn't over yet, so keep your eye out on the streets -- will be featured later this year at DanceNOW, one of the most prestigious dance festivals in the city, celebrating New York's finest choreographers. Matter is also exploring options for a gallery exhibition.

Click here to view the rest of the photos.

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